BOOK VIII. SUNSET AND SUNRISE.
76. CHAPTER LXXVI.
"To mercy, pity, peace, and love
All pray in their distress,
And to these virtues of delight,
Return their thankfulness.
. . . . . .
For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face;
And Love, the human form divine;
And Peace, the human dress.
--WILLIAM BLAKE: Songs of Innocence.
Some days later, Lydgate was riding to Lowick Manor, in consequence
of a summons from Dorothea. The summons had not been unexpected,
since it had followed a letter from Mr. Bulstrode, in which he stated
that he had resumed his arrangements for quitting Middlemarch, and must
remind Lydgate of his previous communications about the Hospital,
to the purport of which he still adhered. It had been his duty,
before taking further steps, to reopen the subject with Mrs. Casaubon,
who now wished, as before, to discuss the question with Lydgate.
"Your views may possibly have undergone some change," wrote Mr. Bulstrode;
"but, in that case also, it is desirable that you should lay them
Dorothea awaited his arrival with eager interest. Though, in
deference to her masculine advisers, she had refrained from what
Sir James had called "interfering in this Bulstrode business,"
the hardship of Lydgate's position was continually in her mind,
and when Bulstrode applied to her again about the hospital,
she felt that the opportunity was come to her which she had been
hindered from hastening. In her luxurious home, wandering under
the boughs of her own great trees, her thought was going out over
the lot of others, and her emotions were imprisoned. The idea
of some active good within her reach, "haunted her like a passion,"
and another's need having once come to her as a distinct image,
preoccupied her desire with the yearning to give relief, and made
her own ease tasteless. She was full of confident hope about
this interview with Lydgate, never heeding what was said of his
personal reserve; never heeding that she was a very young woman.
Nothing could have seemed more irrelevant to Dorothea than insistence
on her youth and sex when she was moved to show her human fellowship.